Earl Holliman’s journey to Hollywood is a story of unwavering determination and big dreams. In 1943, at just 14 years old, Holliman set his sights on becoming a movie star.

Contrary to popular belief, Holliman grew up in Oil City and Mooringsport, not Shreveport. His adventure began with a series of stops, starting with a trip to visit relatives in Camden, Arkansas. From there, he took a bus to Texarkana, Texas, and then hitchhiked his way to Hollywood.

Holliman had saved some money from working as a theater usher and during the night shift at a cafe near Barksdale Air Force Base. He even had a lead on a place to stay from a serviceman he met at the cafe, though it turned out to be in El Monte, California, quite far from Hollywood. Looking back, Holliman acknowledges it was a risky move, one that wouldn’t be advisable today.

Life in Hollywood

Holliman’s first attempt at making it in Hollywood didn’t pan out, leading him to return home briefly before enlisting in the Navy. However, his dream of becoming a movie star never waned. He later returned to Los Angeles, studying at the Pasadena Playhouse and the University of California, Los Angeles.

His persistence paid off. Holliman built an impressive career, with notable roles in films like “Giant” (1956), “Forbidden Planet,” “The Rainmaker,” and “The Sons of Katie Elder.” He also became a familiar face on television, starring alongside Angie Dickinson in “Police Woman” and appearing with Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward in “The Thorn Birds.”

Holliman fondly remembers his early days in Hollywood, particularly his first morning in El Monte. Wearing a short-sleeved silk shirt and dark glasses, he walked in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, wondering if people mistook him for a star. It was a moment filled with the innocent dreams of youth.